I’m so happy to let you know that I’ll be partnering with local poet and photographer Tracey Schmidt to present an evening of Mystical Poetry. Tracey and I were introduced to each other by Jean Cassidy of www.SheVille.org. She thought we might enjoy working together — and we do!
Date and Time: September 20, Friday evening, 7:30 to 9:30 pm. $15 love offering.
Location: Unity of The Blue Ridge, 2041 Fanning Bridge Rd, Mills River, NC 28759. 828-891-8700. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today I’m sharing a poem from my upcoming Poetry Book. As soon as everything is confirmed by Balboa Press, I’ll let you know the title of the book and the publication date. The book will be available in softcover and Kindle, mostly through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. (I’ll have copies, too, of course.) Bookstores will buy it through Ingram.
Needless to say, I’m pretty excited! Here is one of the three poems that will be shared on the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
WHAT’S COOKIN’ IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP KITCHEN?
My daughter strolled to the kitchen to get a snack and returned crestfallen. “There’s nothing to eat,” she reported. “There are only ingredients.”
A love relationship is a kitchen full of sweet, savory, salty and spicy. I have ingredients (beliefs, personality, habits). You have ingredients, too.
But how will they blend? Are we good cooks? With what you’ve got and what I’ve got, will we create a wonderful sauté?
Will our relationship be sweet? Or will the cake fall? Today, I’ve got anchovies and you — rocky road ice cream. This will be interesting.
How does a book get published? What are the steps? How does it work? Who is publishing this book and when will it be available?
I’m new at this! I’m learning, too. But here’s what (I think) I know so far.
I’m putting my first book of poetry in the hands of Balboa Press, the self-publishing arm of Hay House, a good way for an unknown author to get started. My poetry book will be full color, with thirty-six photos, thirty six poems, and one prose piece. It’s around eighty pages, give or take.
Balboa will produce a soft cover and an e-book for me. Their e-books are compatible with Amazon Kindle, the Sony Reader, the Barnes & Noble eReader, Nook, Google Play Books, Kobo Books and the iBooks Store.
Though they will write a press release for me, Balboa doesn’t market a book unless they are specifically hired to do that. (I’ll be looking for a publicist, by the way, if you have a referral.)
However, Balboa lists the book for purchase in their catalogs and on their book lists for bookstores. When they produce the Kindle version, it’s posted on Amazon (with the “look inside” feature) and on Barnes and Noble. My publishing package also includes a “Booksellers Return Program” which makes it zero risk for a bookstore to buy copies. (If a book doesn’t sell, the store can return it for a refund.) Balboa also sets up a premium author website and handles the orders.
When a book is first submitted, it goes into “Content Evaluation” which is where it is right now. They want to know I wrote it, and that the photos I chose are available to use commercially. This process takes approximately 3-4 weeks, they say.
After that, the cover is designed, and the inside layout of the book is created and sent to me for approval. Once changes are made and I’ve given it my full thumbs up, production begins!
It’s possible the book will be ready for the Holidays. I’m hoping that’s true. But if not, another strong market is the beginning of the year.
Wouldn’t it be nice if it was available for the Holidays to fly like an eagle into the hands of anyone in the world looking for a little whimsy and wisdom? Or to all those looking for a beautiful book to keep by their bedside to calm their mind and nourish their heart?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the book traveled far and wide quickly and efficiently (and surprisingly!) by word of mouth to all those who would find comfort and joy in the words? May this book find night stands everywhere!
Thank you for holding this far-reaching vision with me, and for your encouragement to get the words I’ve been writing out into the world! Your support means everything to me. Thank you right down to my toes! I’m excited about this new chapter of my life.
As of a few minutes ago, I turned in the full manuscript and accompanying photos for my very first book! It’s a book of 100 word pieces that turned into poetry during the past week. I’m so pleased about what happened during the editing process!
I decided last Tuesday to publish the book. I’ve been working pretty much non-stop since then. Nothing like a deadline to get things moving.
There are thirty seven pieces of writing along with beautiful photos, around 80 pages. The production process is underway!
Thank you for your voiced confidence about this project. I appreciate all of you for reading the blog, commenting on the writings and letting me know you’d love to own the collection in a book.
It was spring
and I finally heard him
among the first leaves––
then I saw him clutching the limb
in an island of shade
with his red-brown feathers
all trim and neat for the new year.
First, I stood still
and thought of nothing.
Then I began to listen.
Then I was filled with gladness––
and that’s when it happened,
when I seemed to float,
to be, myself, a wing or a tree––
and I began to understand
what the bird was saying,
and the sands in the glass
for a pure white moment
while gravity sprinkled upward
like rain, rising,
and in fact
it became difficult to tell just what it was that was singing––
it was the thrush for sure, but it seemed
not a single thrush, but himself, and all his brothers,
and also the trees around them,
as well as the gliding, long-tailed clouds
in the perfectly blue sky––all, all of them
And, of course, yes, so it seemed,
so was I.
Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn’t last
for more than a few moments.
It’s one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
One of the things they say about it, that is true,
is that, once you’ve been there,
you’re there forever.
Listen, everyone has a chance.
Is it spring, is it morning?
Are there trees near you,
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then––open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
may already be drifting away.
by Mary Oliver. “Such Singing In The Wild Branches” is from Owls and Other Fantasies.Other books by Mary Oliver
1963 No Voyage, and Other Poems (Dent (New York, NY), expanded edition, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1965.
1972 The River Styx, Ohio, and Other Poems Harcourt (New York, NY)
1978 The Night Traveler Bits Press
1978 Sleeping in the Forest Ohio University (a 12-page chapbook, p. 49–60 in The Ohio Review—Vol. 19, No. 1 [Winter 1978])
1979 Twelve Moons Little, Brown (Boston, MA)
1983 American Primitive Little, Brown (Boston, MA)
You’re broken down and tired Of living life on a merry go round And you can’t find the fighter But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out And move mountains We gonna walk it out And move mountains
And I’ll rise up I’ll rise like the day I’ll rise up I’ll rise unafraid I’ll rise up And I’ll do it a thousand times again And I’ll rise up High like the waves I’ll rise up In spite of the ache I’ll rise up And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you For you For you For you
When the silence isn’t quiet And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe And I know you feel like dying But I promise we’ll take the world to its feet And move mountains Bring it to its feet And move mountains
And I’ll rise up I’ll rise like the day I’ll rise up I’ll rise unafraid I’ll rise up And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you For you For you For you
All we need, all we need is hope And for that we have each other And for that we have each other And we will rise We will rise We’ll rise, oh, oh We’ll rise
I’ll rise up Rise like the day I’ll rise up In spite of the ache I will rise a thousand times again And we’ll rise up High like the waves We’ll rise up In spite of the ache We’ll rise up And we’ll do it a thousand times again
During this strange time in history, I noticed y’all were tackling all sorts of interesting projects. I decided I needed one, too—something positive to remember the pandemic of 2020 by.
I decided to pay attention to something I had abandoned…
Nope, I’m not cleaning my garage. I am not organizing one single thing. I’m not planting a garden or cleaning up my yard.
Instead, I decided to take care of myself better. This, folks, has made all the difference for me.
With relatively little time and effort on my part, I feel so much better than I did a month ago.
On March 30, I got on the exercise bike and the yoga mat for the first time in a long time, and did 30 minutes each. I liked it so much that I decided to do it every day. But I fell short of that, and changed my commitment to every other day, which felt more manageable, reasonable, and doable.
I also get off the bike after every song, take a couple of sips of water, shake out my legs and arms for a few seconds, and get back on. This makes the bike project a reasonable proposition, too.
Daily walks of any length—by myself, or with my little guy, Jackson—are a fresh air bonus.
My recumbent exercise bike has pulleys to work my upper body while I pedal, which gets my heart rate up fast, and also helps my whole-body strength. It feels good to get up from writing, or doing a consulting session with a client, to do something physically challenging while listening to good music.
After only a month, I feel a sheet of muscles on the front of me I haven’t felt for a very, very long time. Goodness gracious. Who knew they were there. I’ll be posting rippling ab photos soon, I’m sure.
I have no idea what the scales have to say about my bike/yoga project—I don’t care. Paying attention to scales tends to send me sideways, and therefore, I’m ignoring them completely.
But—I LOVE the way I feel! Hang in there, everyone.
Sometimes we ask intimate partners to do for us what is actually ours to do.
We ask our partner to give us the reassurance, love or appreciation we feel is missing in ourselves, with the hope that they will give us what we’re asking for—and then we’ll feel better. They’ll take care of our problem.
But when they do give us what we’re asking for, it can never be enough, because we have insufficient context for what they’ve given. We haven’t build the inner foundation to receive it, hear it, welcome it, believe it. They try to help, but their love for us falls into our void, our black hole, our love bucket with no bottom.
As always, there’s hope. Check out the video below.